Allocation for health sees mere 1.49pc rise
The Tk 9,495 crore budgetary allocation for the health sector for 2013-14 fiscal year is only a mere 1.49 percent increase from the last one.
Health spending this year shrunk to a mere 4.26 percent of the budget, the lowest in a decade.
Commenting on the declining trend of the health budget, healthcare sector experts commented that the decrease in health sector spending will force general people to go to private healthcare service providers and hence more money has to be spent from their pockets.
Considering the current inflation rate, the proposed amount will translate into lesser health services for the poor, let alone any improvement, they told The Daily Star yesterday.
“Although money allocated for health increased, much of it will be spent in giving salary increments to people employed in the sector,” Prof Rashid-E-Mahbub, former president of Bangladesh Medical Association, told The Daily Star yesterday.
“This will leave little for providing services to the people who cannot afford private healthcare facilities,” he said.
The proposed health budget apparently ignored the fact that prices of many essential medicines have gone up in the last few years, added Prof Rashid-E-Mahbub.
While increasing the health allocation is of utmost importance, making sure that the fund goes where it is needed the most is also crucial, he insisted.
“Moreover, due to bureaucratic tangles, it takes around seven to eight months for the allocation to reach most of the upazilas.
“This hampers its proper utilisation as the unused fund must be returned before the next budget,” he said.